We’ve all made them, and some of us like making them more than others. “Resolution” as a word itself has meaning; it means to have an intention, make a decision, plan, commitment, or promise. So, it comes as no surprise that with a fresh start to a new year, most of the population would like to take this reset as a way to prove their own word to themselves.
As a wise man once said, what are you if not good for your word?
Being a person of integrity is a sign of good character. Who wouldn’t want to be around a person with good character? And since smiles are our thing here at Dr. Marchbanks’s office, we ask: who wouldn’t want to be around a person with good character and a beautiful smile to match?
While some people aim to drop weight in the new year, or be more punctual, or stop smoking cigarettes, or take more vacations in before the calendar close…we think oral health is the beginning of a life well led. We’ve gathered a few reminders…or “resolutions,” ahem…that you can keep in the back of your mind on a daily basis that will add up to good health, good character and a more confident you for 2018.
- Brush twice a day – and use mouthwash
It truly goes without saying – you need to brush those useful gnashers of yours twice a day. If you’ve been skipping out on brushing before bed, or worse, leaving the house without brushing in the morning, you have to make a resolution to remove the plaque buildup that causes decay, cavities and other health issues.
Also, use mouthwash at least once a day. Mouthwash helps remove more plaque, brighten your smile, and keep your breath fresh.
- Floss at least once day
Whether you prefer to do it in the morning or before bed, this is a habit that must be well-formed. Not removing the food and sticky plaque buildup between teeth for too long is what causes gum problems, gum disease, tooth decay and the beginning of cavities. By not flossing, you leave two of three surfaces on your teeth left unclean.
Pick your preference, whether it’s old-fashioned thin string floss, wide dental tape, a floss threader (that looks like a plastic sewing needle), Super Floss, or the two-pronged plastic floss holder picks.
Flossing helps remove 40% of plaque from your teeth. There’s no instant results of a healthier mouth, but it is the only thing that really can get into the spaces between teeth and gums to remove bacteria.
Don’t worry if you see blood. It just means the gums are inflamed because plaque has built up and needs to be cleaned away. Look at this as incentive to ensure you floss regularly so your gums aren’t left bleeding. Do note that if bleeding consists after a few days it could be a sign of periodontal disease, so call you dentist.
- Eat with healthy habits
First step in good eating habits for your teeth is to curb sugar intake. Studies show a direct link between the amounts of sugar a person eats and the amount of tooth decay s/he has. When grocery shopping or eating out, always think twice about purchasing that sugary treat. Replace the notion with a piece of sugar-free gum, a cup of tea (brush after), or sugar-free seltzer water instead of soda.
A few foods to include in your diet that actually help clean your teeth are: dairy products (high in calcium), fibrous foods that require saliva to break down and help scrub away plaque and other food particles like crunchy vegetables.
- Drink More Water
Not only are you made up of 60% water, so it’s a good idea to keep drinking it, but by drinking a glass of water with each meal (and saving a few solid swigs for after a meal), you allow the excess sugar and debris to be flushed away from your teeth.
And if water gets a bit bland, try adding strawberries, mint or cucumbers to your water for a natural, low-acidity, and refreshing flavor boost!
- Regular dental appointments
Schedule your dentist appointment. Get them all on the calendar for the year if you can. If you can’t, start by finding out when the last tooth-cleaning you had was and book the soonest you would need another.
And always book your next appointment on your way out of the office!
The great thing about making your oral health one of your highest priorities, or resolution shall we say, in the coming 2018 year is that it can lead to accomplishing other worthy resolutions like dropping weight by making healthier choices for your teeth, consuming water instead of naughty beverages, and leading a life of healthy habits develops a life of health and willpower.
We wish you a wonderful last week of 2017 and a beautiful New Years celebration and will see you – and your healthy teeth – soon enough!